To be honest, I didn't like hearing this and it concerned me. I told myself I can't raise a mentally challenged child. But what I really meant was- I didn't WANT to raise a mentally challenged child.
First things first.
Sophie is NOT mentally challenged and I don't think she is what would be considered "slow".
This is her life as I "know" it:
She was abandoned at the age of 10 years old on November 23, 2005.
It's chilly here in November. Somewhere around 50-60 degrees. She was wearing a yellow t-shirt, jeans, white sneakers and had a red traveling bag. Her abandonment was planned.
In China, when a couple divorces, it is most likely the new spouse will reject the child. Thus, abandonment will occur. Something so foreign for us to ever even consider!!
Our guide seems to think this is probably the scenario for Sophie. When asked what she remembers she will either stay silent or say she doesn't remember. Maybe one day she will feel safe enough to share what she does remember.
When her first anger outburst happened I had our guide, Susie, ask her if she was missing the orphanage or her foster mother and father. She said no, that they weren't that nice to her.
As a 10 year old she was put into the first grade with 6 year olds.
She has been told she is not smart. Lazy. Brain not working.
Don't we all tend to believe something if we are told it long enough?
The first two days were very hard for me. She is so immature. Hangs on me, holds my hand, hugs, kisses, head on my shoulder all the time. Yes. It is sweet. But it drove me crazy!! (and still does) I am shocked by my feelings on this. (Isabella was completely glued to me 24 hours a day when I got her!) I think the difference is that she is 14 and not 5. She is not a baby or little kid. She's a big girl!
Probably the hardest thing to discover is that she is not at a 4th or 5th grade level. She is behind Isabella academically. So....we will start with A, B, C and 1, 2, 3 when we get home. There is no way I could send her to school. God knew this and I am seeing now how these 2 adoptions and homeschooling is all starting to come together and make sense.
We learned a lot today.
We went back to the Notary Office today to pick up our paperwork.
Sophie came clean.
She does remember her mother. She also has an older sister, although she can't remember her name.
They were poor and her mother didn't have a job. She never knew her father.
And all of this explains to me why she is at a kindergarten/first grade level: her and her sister never went to school. They were too poor. She didn't have an education until she was 10 years old and in the orphanage. I am so relieved to at least know something.
The two are in bed now giggling like crazy.
We are off to bed. Repacking our suitcases tomorrow to leave for Zhenghou at 6am.
I can hear Isabella telling Sophie to listen and think about it. She is teaching her the ABC song.
I may not have to teach Sophie anything!! Isabella just might be the homeschooling sister teacher!!